Tag Archives: roles

…And Then, There Was This Ball

13 May


I am now the proud owner of a giant bubble-gum-pink Pilates ball.

…The reason is: this show I’m doing, (after the show I’m doing), wherein I will be required to do this:

(see “this” here.)

One obviously needs to be either an alien or a gymnast, or at the very least have a core of steel in order to accomplish this.  I think we can all agree that I am/have none of these things.

…Which means I need to whip into shape, like woa.

Have still been losing poundage at a slowly melting rate through the last production…which was meant to make…say, wearing a corset in this one…just a little bit more comfortable.  But now I have this whole other level of “fitness” I need to achieve in order to keep up with the “next new thing.”

Farce is a physical beast. And I am in no way fit for it at the moment.

…Enter in a private coach structure of single, to double, to eventual triple reps in a very specific sequence that will apparently morph my body into a super model by the end. 

(Albeit a very short one.)

(Provided I do it right.) 

(And we all know I’ll prob’ly screw it up.)

(But there is some credit in trying, anyway.)

…The point is: I now have this gi-fucking-gantic ball in an already crammed apartment, that I have to do something with in it’s down time. And (I guess) do something with, NOT in it’s down time.  And I have nowhere to put it.  The bastard was so huge I couldn’t even fit it into Harriet just to get it home without almost killing myself.

…Which was prob’ly really funny to anyone who might have been watching at the time, but not to me.

…Because that is what comedy is all about: Serious business with uncomfortable (and in some cases “tragic”) circumstances to the “doer,” providing great  delight to all the assholes standing by and watching, while it happens.

Tonight…”comedy” included me in MC Hammer PJ pants (roughly four sizes too big), and oversized Wellies, trying to achieve the reverse of a “square peg into a round hole” phenomenon, and failing badly.  This is where current bodily heft ended up helping.  If I was “fit” I NEVER would have been able to get a running start towards the ball already wedged in the door, and pop it out the ass end, into the passenger window.  No.  If I was “fit” I woulda just bounce right off of it, and collided with an oncoming car, like a bug on a windshield, and that would have been the end of me.  In a “possibly amusing to others, though probably not to me,” kinda way.

…Instead I propelled that bastard inwardly, then spent a great deal of time on the ass-end of the trip, trying to hug onto the ball, while pulling it backwards towards me out of the car. 

…But then if the ball won’t fit on it’s own, the ball, with your arms around it, REALLY won’t fit. One learns this concept quickly.  By like the eighth or ninth try.And then getting out of the car to reach inward to unwedge it from the passenger seat, only really achieves plummer butt-crack-flashing the entire wall of windows to your building.  Which was still better than the time, I accidentally stepped back onto the puddle of  PJ bottoms rooted by my Wellies, partially pantsing myself, while arms were still stuck, wedged around the ball, and in the car doorway, totally helpless to resolve the situation.

Luckily, it was dusk.  So prob’ly only ten or twenty of my neighbors saw me.

…Which I might have kept to a slimmer number of witnesses, had I not spent the entire time cussing out the ball (and circumstances) while it was all happening.

Eventually…said ball was free, I pulled up my pants, and proceeded to my building.

…Where the struggle between clothing, and clompy Wellies, my bag of knitting shit, along with the giant bubble-gum-ball, commenced all the way through the main pass door, and up the flight of stairs to my apartment.

…Where (exhausted), I kicked open the door, and let everything fall to the floor, in a heap. The ball, having grown easily to five times it’s original size, bounced with taunt heft directly into the living room, managing to collide with every breakable thing possible, before settling where it is currently residing…in such a way, that I can no longer even enter the room.

Meanwhile, I am now too exhausted to work-out, at all (on account of the entire episode), and have decided to just blog, wash my face, ignore the devastation in the living room that I can’t get into now anyway, and think heavily on the topic of possibly beginning my new fitness regime tomorrow.

…Or at least consider, thinking heavily about it.

“Fitness” is a very solemn undertaking, not to be toyed with lightly.

Why else would they have all those warnings about consulting your doctor, before you begin to attempt it?

I mean fuck, I coulda died twice tonight, been arrested for indecent exposure, and might have as much as $50 or $60 in property damages now…just from trying to transport the damn equipment.

A single. Cocking. Ball.

“Fitness” is FIERCE you guys.


Portrait Of A Lady

3 May


I adore Oscar Wilde.

…His delicious turn of phrase, and the stinging snap of talent he had for making fun of his own society.

…I like to think he caught the gene by some inter-marrying, 12th-cousin-removed bit a-la Jane Austen, which he then passed on (via intellectual love-child twins) to Noel Coward & PG Wodhouse, who would pick up and absolutely run with it…following then one talent upon the other until we reach current day masters like Julian Fellowes (with his tongue-in-cheek alter ego, the Dowager Countess: Lady Grantham), and Stephen Fry (with his everything.)

…The love/hate relationship between the players in their worlds are magnificent, and ridiculous…full of excess, silver-spoon-fed charms, and often, completely sheltered, backward, innocents. They go to places like Ascot, and Royal Assemblies, own crowns made of ancient jewels traceable as far back as their earliest blue blooded relatives, go to court, are presented to the Queen, have “coming-outs” (not in any way associated with their sexual identities), regularly “do” the Season, and have titles that make their calling cards and room-arrivals, whip heads to attention.

…And this is the world I have delightfully been welcomed into, with my next role…(after a stiff fight with a hell of a lot of talent in the room.)

The Honorable Gwendolen Fairfax, daughter of Lord and Lady Bracknell.

As extravagant and precisely turned out as a wedding cake in human form, this splendidly spoiled young woman of means and royal shoulder-rubbing, is fast on her way to becoming a force to be reckoned with, rivaled only by her mother.  She knows what she wants and always gets it, and always will, and that is as it should be. 

…God bless the English Aristocracy.



What fun to roll these words around with my tongue and glean the perfectly timed-out significance of a single, solitary, rise, of, eyebrow.

Mdm. Director has shared that “choreography” will be more the tune we set, than mere blocked staging.  Every movement, a clean-cut, efficient, specifically intended gesture…to better tighten-up and suck the air of excess out of the performance, allowing the language to take center stage as the icing on the cake.

…As it bloody well SHOULD be.

Sheer de-light!

A lot of work ahead.

…But this time without diving into war histories and genocides and suicides.

I loved my time spent in the last two worlds of theatre, but now we have moved on through a vast time warp to ridiculous frivolity, wrapped up in corsets and big hats, where women would rather kill themselves with kindness than ever admit their rankles are up…where butlers and man-servants abound, multiple households are a given, but the house number coming from the “fashionable” side of town, is REALLY what matters. 

…A world where people are so completely wrapped up in themselves that they invent OTHER selves purely for the sake of “playing,” get engaged months before they’ve even met, and keep diaries simply for the joy of a sensational read on a boring train ride.


…And I think, a fairly interesting character study via “diary entry,” is soon in the coming.


On The Docket

30 Apr



…So, tomorrow is Wednesday.

I have to remind myself because I haven’t had a “normal” week in like two…”normal” not compared to other people, but just in junction with myself even.

I dunno if I’m coming or going, or really to where, or which county it is in.

This has been a problem since I first started the cold meds. 

…Work at home this day, into half of second, then office, then office again, airport run, south-end run, north-end triple runs: show – show – show, close. Mrs. Johnson pops up, birthday happenings…in another state…back home again, day off, think finally kicked cold, south-end again, half day work from home, airport run again, back to office, prep month-end, home to beat down rest of hangover and study for tomorrow, Ma’s to laundry, back home to blog.

…Is there any freakin’ wonder I’m a total mess right now?

Tomorrow is month-end, followed by about three hours of call-backs for “Importance of Being Earnest.”

…Called for Gwendolyn.

…Which means retracting the 40-something Jewish WWII mama, into a refined 20-something, posh, obsessive-compulsive, Edwardian, proposal-magnet.

Pffft!  I can totally do that on a dime! (She says, trying her best to state it without an inherent question mark at the end.)

…Which will only bring us to halfway through the week that already wouldn’t end. 

And this HUGE zit (which apparently has a cousin staying with Marty), just showed up yesterday.  Prime time for me to look my best, in times when it really matters.

…Meanwhile, I got m’first beautiful blue box of goodies from Tiffany’s in the mail, (c/o Aunty L), a new role offer from a theatre up north, (to keep me busy this fall), devoured this little lovely ditty (which I highly recommend for the equally obsessed) and now: I am off to bed.


…Guys, we ain’t even halfway through yet.



…I mean, “bugger.”


I mean, “How very unfortunate that my current lifestyle is so fully without apparent rhyme nor reason,  when it comes to obtaining sufficient amounts of sleep and focus in order to successfully achieve one’s efforts, when one does try so hard to do ones best.”

(A little grindey on the gears there, friend.  Focus-up! it’s game-time!)


The Van Divas

4 Mar


Fun rehearsal last night.  Lots of tightening up, but with plenty of short-stream BSing pockets in between.

…As characters were sent to their rooms like children, (to live out our terms until next needed somewhere downstage), we were given open opportunity to bond in small groups. 

…And with the first chance to address more than just blocking, Mr. Director was given ample opportunity to pick on us. Openly. With love. Building a natural theme to our interrelationships with him and one another.

…For instance, our Mr. Frank is The Problem Child.

…Apparently he always has been, and always will be. This charismatic individual, undertaking the grounding base of our production and it’s total through-line, is a 35 year-old Amazon employee by day, and occasional Burlesque dancer by night, with the energy of a one-year-old puppy.

…He is actually married (in real life) to our Mrs. Frank: A very centered school teacher, with a most calming essence…whom you can’t for the life of you, wrap your head around as being married to someone of her husband’s energy-content. Until it comes out that she too has a naughty side, also Burlesques upon occasion, and in fact was married on stage, during a show, at a bar, to said Mr. Frank, some years now ago.

…It’s always the quiet ones.

Our Margot (of physical appearance about 16, actual age 26) is a quiet, smiley, helpful Margot-ish being, (minus the doormat inclination), while our Anne goes toe-to-toe with her “father’s” bursts of natural enthusiasm, currently trying to be broken of a natural inclination to goose-step, and whose actual-Anne-age curiosity and innocents provides endless smiles and winks amongst the adults, making every beat of what could be a totally contrived moment of wonder and exuberance, into an actual, real-life, truly honest, first realization.

Our Miep: is a spitfire, currently performing in an all-female “Jesus Christ Superstar,” our Krahler is also our set-designer…which is terribly convenient to have around while performing on another production’s stage when things like,”wait, where the hell is the kitchen sink again, here or here?” comes up…and Dussel is one of the theatre’s Board Members.

My Peter is a quiet young fella, well-studied up on his role and it’s history, and is always exactly where he needs to be at precisely the right time. Freakishly centered for a teenage boy, until you find out he just finished a show up north, started the theatre group at his school, and is currently (along with his full class-load), directing “Harry Potter: The Musical,” featuring a shit-ton of his own peers. One HAS to have one’s shit together for that kind of schedule.

…And then we reach the van Daans. Or, as it has been openly implied…in that it is literally our assigned reputation: the van Divas.

This is due in one part, to my fabulous musical-theatre-Director-and-performer-of-Bearish-persuasion, husband. And to another part, my last (and first) collaboration with this company.

… First off, husband and wife have already bonded, are loud and braying, and have had zero need to warm to one another’s ability at fighting openly, with gusto, while randomly swapping bitch-glances, and love-looks, by turn as needed. Second: Hubby has worked there a zillion times, and being of a certain persuasion in lifestyle, shares over-the-Anne-head double entendres with delicious slight-of-hand. Third: Mr. Director and I have an inside joke, that started out not as a joke at all, but now he’s comfortable enough with the circumstance (knowing I am too) to flail it out there without the need of kid-gloves.

…Actually, he still has the “kid-gloves,” only now he makes a point to make fun of the fact that he has them…working the hell out of constantly checking up on me to see that all is well in my proverbial artistic world.

“Are you alright?” “You have a question?” “You like that choice?” “What do you want here?” “Anything you need?” “You look like somethings wrong.”

…I didn’t understand the joke for all of the first week, (or perhaps it still wasn’t a joke at that point it time, I really don’t know.) Why I was always being picked out specifically, I couldn’t really understand, constantly following each question with a look of confusion and, “No, I’m fine.” “It works good for me.” “Sure.” And, “It’s just my face. It’s just how I look.”

…But by last night, it had all sunk in.

…Never having worked with him directly before, it took that long…I think for both of us…to see the humor of it, and corroborate with it, so that by halfway through last night’s scene working: the van Divas were fully acknowledge as a pair-set, and the new kid had made her solid spot within the family.

…Which makes doing what we need to do, so much easier. Because yes, even in the theatre, everyone needs to have their little “boxes” of who is who and what it what. Just like on-stage, we have our little parts to play. We have spent just enough time together to understand what those now are, and can therefore get straight to poking at one another through our cages, to rile one another up in all the best ways and build this suffocating world of life-on-top-of-one-another, that we need to build.

…All part of building a “company.”

And this’ll be a good one.



Conversations, ‘Tween Myselves

21 Feb


Conversations that normal people never get to have (in open letter form.) From this role, to my last:


Dear Martha,

Since last we parted, I retired from teaching and loving people who don’t want it. Haven’t cried once in two-and-a-half weeks. (A coincidence? I think not.) I should be back to normal snot-regulation soon.

It was by no means a “picnic” to say goodbye to you, but I fear your influence was a heavy burden that being held too much longer, would have seen me 40 pounds heavier, and a full-blown alcoholic by the end.

…The morning kind.

…Who like to pretend it’s cranberry juice in their tumbler next to the Wheaties, and not a cheap $5  bottle of Cabernet.

…But I digress.

A lot has changed for me lately.

…First of all, I’ve jumped ahead a bit, (from ’39 to ’42), and yet have aged 14 years.


Am stuck in Holland, for the duration of the War. (And I thought being a lesbian in a small town was bad.)

…My Dutch is terrible, and don’t even get me started on my English. And now that I finally have a decent wardrobe to show off (complete with fur coat)…there’s nowhere to go and no one to see it. In fact, in a couple of years, my husband’s just gonna sell it for a pack of smokes on the black market, which in two days time, will be totally gone. And they won’t even be Turkish. Which, I mean…if not…why even bother?

The rationing is killing me.

…Also, I’ve converted. (It was a super short ceremony.) Am Jewish now…and married. (It was a super long ceremony.) Also, I’m told I have a son…but can’t be bothered with him much right now, on account of just moving into an attic, on the forth floor. I’ve no idea how long we’ll be here (maybe a month or so??)…but am damn glad I brought my bedpan.

The food is terrible.

The company, isn’t much better.

…Except for the men. But only when they flatter me. Otherwise, I have no use for them either.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost 5 pounds in the past 8 days, doing this new diet. I made it up, and am thinkin’ of maybe marketing it later…when the War is all over. It’s called, “You live on rotten potatoes and black beans, fatty, better drop a hot ton so you can sorta fucking look like it,” plan.

…The kid with the diary says I should maybe think of a shorter name. But what the hell does she know about anything?

…Whatever I call it, it’ll have this whole revolutionary kick-starter plan.

First off: overindulge in everything to the point that you are guaranteed to be puking all the following day from a hangover. Build this solely on the fact that one cannot embrace the idea of the Holocaust without being reduced to a puddle of sick, unless there is a sizable amount of liquor to help. You may later find irony in this as you grasp the toilet bowl…but you will also wake up finding three pounds missing from your general tonnage.

…And, you’re welcome.

Next: Give it all up, and embrace the life of food and drink-abstinence, for the entire duration, (‘cept for one day a week), while praying heavily for liberation.

…And then, complain about it.

…With wide gesticulations.

…And shouting bouts with your spouse.

Mazel Tov. You are now officially Attic-Jewish.

(This offer good from now, through April 27th.)

With fond self-affection,

~ Mrs. Van Daan



Hello, I Remember You

20 Nov


Seems it’s time.

…Time to start down an old road, in search for some truth and hope.  Time to deal with happenings in the past, drag them out into the light and face them once again. 

In front of several hundred people.

…My head, already feeding on the script, I’ve started a companion album to the piece.  I do it a lot, when beginning work on a character.  Because music gets to the heart of the matter immediately…giving you a sort of soundtrack to play by. Something that can run in my head on the way to the theatre, and as I put on my makeup and set my hair every night. 

…Something playing as I watch my everyday face, literally disappear in the mirror in front of me…replaced by this new being who has a story they need to share with a couple hundred people out there.

Two of the songs on the list so far, are the launching pad of where I’m coming from, and what the character’s journey means to me.  We are sisters in a lot of ways, but I think her core of cores is one part love, and one part shame. 

…Themes you can’t escape no matter how hard you fight them. 

And I ought to know.

Welcome, Martha. 

I’ve got your back, kid.


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